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Government to achieve 3.9 percent fiscal deficit target: Arun Jaitley

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday exuded confidence that the government will achieve the fiscal deficit target of 3.9 percent in the current financial year.

“I have consciously kept this year a very modest target of 3.9 percent. I think the manner in which tax revenues and expenditure are moving, I don’t think this will be difficult to meet,” Jaitley said here at the five-day India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) which commenced here on Monday.

Stating that there was a better collection of revenues during the first six months of the current fiscal, he hoped the same for the remaining two quarters of 2015-16.

He, therefore, ruled out any possibility to slash expenditure either of state governments or that of various central ministries.

“I don’t think this year we have to cut down expenditure of either state government or public expenditure of the central ministries as it is moving ahead of our target as far as indirect taxes are concerned,” the minister said.

The targets for the next three years have been set at 3.9 percent for 2015-16, 3.5 percent for 2016-17, and 3 percent for 2017-18.

On disinvestment front, the minister said there were challenges, particularly on account of global prices of metals, which constitutes large part of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), not doing well.

“And therefore, I think it don’t make sense divesting at a time when prices are low,” Jaitley said.

(IANS)

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Harsh Penal Proceedings For Illegal Swiss Bank Deposit Holders: Arun Jaitely

A news item has appeared today indicating an increase of money by ‘Indians’ in the Swiss banking system

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Harsh Penal Proceedings For Illegal Swiss Bank Deposit Holders: Arun Jaitely
Harsh Penal Proceedings For Illegal Swiss Bank Deposit Holders: Arun Jaitely. flickr

Union Minister Arun Jaitley today warned that Indians having illegal deposits in Swiss banks would face harsh penal proceedings under the black money law after Switzerland starts real time sharing of details of accounts from January onwards. Latest data from the Swiss National Bank showed that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India’s clampdown on suspected black money stashed by its citizens overseas.

“A news item has appeared today indicating an increase of money by ‘Indians’ in the Swiss banking system. This has led to misinformed reaction in certain circles raising a query whether the government’s anti-black money steps have yielded results,” Jaitley said in a blog. Noting that Switzerland in financial disclosures was always a reluctant state, Jaitley said the Alpine nation has amended its domestic laws involving all disclosures and entered into a treaty even with India and real time flow of information with regard to Indians would be made. “The flow of information is starting in January, 2019. Any illegal depositor knows that it is a matter of months before his name becomes public and he will be subjected to the harsh penal provisions of the black money law in India,” said the senior BJP leader and an eminent lawyer.

Jaitley said the Alpine nation has amended its domestic laws
Jaitley said the Alpine nation has amended its domestic laws. Flickr

Also read: Under Arun Jaitley corruption grew manifold in DDCA: Bishan Singh Bedi

Further, Jaitley said those who participate in a public discourse must understand these basic facts before expressing an opinion which may be ill-informed. “To assume that all the deposits are per se tax evaded money or that Switzerland in the matter of illegal deposits is what it was decades ago, is to start on a shaky presumption,” he added. (IANS)

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